Monday, November 27, 2006

Web 3.0 ;-)

For those who are still struggling to understand web 2.0, I have good and bad news for you. the good news is that web 2.0 is history, the bad news is that web 3.0 is here :-)

Web 2.0, which describes the ability to seamlessly connect applications (like geographic mapping) and services (like photo-sharing) over the Internet, has in recent months become the focus of dot-com-style hype in Silicon Valley. But commercial interest in Web 3.0 — or the “semantic Web,” for the idea of adding meaning — is only now emerging.

The classic example of the Web 2.0 era is the “mash-up” — for example, connecting a rental-housing Web site with Google Maps to create a new, more useful service that automatically shows the location of each rental listing.

In contrast, the Holy Grail for developers of the semantic Web is to build a system that can give a reasonable and complete response to a simple question like: “I’m looking for a warm place to vacation and I have a budget of $3,000. Oh, and I have an 11-year-old child.”
Source as reported by "Welcome to web 3.0"

I hear that SAP executives,meeting with analysts this week in Las Vegas, have started using the term "enterprise 3.0" to describe this next wave of business applications. I’ll stick with Web 3.0 because it’s a shorter fit for my headlines, but I’ve no doubt we’re talking about exactly the same core concept: a new generation of services-based, composite applications that are tailored to fit the work processes that people actually need in their daily routines.Web 3.0: The API-driven application

But the article that I liked the most is the following :-)
My assignment in Monaco was to lead a panel in defining Web 3.0--this when people are struggling to get their heads around Web 2.0. I wouldn't say we emerged from the session with a clear picture of this third generation. But here are some of the ideasWeb 3.0

More Web 3.0 links

This post is dedicated to my friend Houssein :-)))))

(Update)PS: I just found out that I'm working on the web 3.0 without konowing it

Thursday, November 16, 2006

MSFT vs Open source: Divide and conquer.

As I mentionned in a previous post about the Microsoft-Novell deal, Samba developers are getting upset.

The latest criticism comes from the developers of Samba, an open-source program that allows Linux servers to provide file and print services to Windows clients. Its comments are notable because Samba is usually a Novell ally and its software is distributed with Novell's SUSE Linux.

Like other criticism from the open-source community, Samba took issue with the deal's intellectual property aspects. The agreement is "divisive" and runs counter to the goals of open source, because it treats the creators and users of software differently depending on their commercial or noncommercial status, it said in a statement yesterday.


Micorsoft never throw a penny for charity even though Bill Gates does ;-)

Micosoft is using an old dictator's trick "divide and conquer". While open source developers gets into each other throats, Gates will be watching and enjoying and preparing a serie of intellectual property suits based on the fact that all Linux versions beside Novell are using MS code!!!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

CPU/GPU tug of war

After the acquisition of graphics card ATI by processors maker AMD for $5.4B and the announcement of GPU/CPU merged processor, the war between graphics cards and CPUs continues.

Graphics card driven by gamers and video console makers are getting insanely powerful and their makers being under pressure of finding new markets necessary for their growth, start to move towards a single offering of CPU/GPU and go head to head with Intel. After AMD/ATI announcement, NVIDIA today announced its Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX that cost the company $400M and 4 years of R&D. The unit has 128 processors for a total of 680 million transistors, the most complex graphics unit ever developed for a PC. It even has enough instructions set to be uses as a simple main processor unit which is exactly what NVIDIA is going after, the CPU market.Developers can even start programming this GPU using C compiler.

AMD acquisition was necessary to stay in the game of the GPU/CPU and INTEL is said to be working on similar product to be released in 2008. Will Intel play it nicely or will it choose the acquisition solution by buying NVIDA?

Adrianne Curry virtually rendered on a 8800

Monday, November 06, 2006

Wanna talk in a language you don't speak?

Carnegie Mellon University Researcher came up with a device that only sci-fi movie writers could think about. It is a universal translator, that translates unvoiced words int syntetic speech, it is just like watching movies dubbed in another language. You just articulate the words without saying them and the translation will be coming out a speaker as if you're the one talking :-)

Imagine mouthing a phrase in English, only for the words to come out in Spanish. That is the promise of a device that will make anyone appear bilingual, by translating unvoiced words into synthetic speech in another language.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Is it a Good week for Open Source?

Microsoft and Novell surprised everyone this week by announcing a joint partnership on Linux!! No other than Palmer and Hovespian, the CEO’s of the respective companies, announced the news in San Francisco. The agreement states that Novell will pay to Microsoft fees for using its patents on interoperability between Office and Interoffice and virtualization management. Microsoft committed to buy 70000 Suse Enterprise server and to participate in a joint research Lab for inter-operability between Linux and Windows.

On one side this is a the first time Microsoft acknowledges Linux as a serious player, but on the other side Novell acknowledges that Linux is infringing on Microsoft patents in both OpenOffice and Samba software, but Microsoft pointed out that this partnership will solve the patents problem only for Suse and not for other version of Linux!! This will open the door to pursuing all other Linux vendors legally. That reminds me of someone who said “If Microsoft had a penis; I will try hard to keep it away from my sister”

In the same week Microsoft partnered with Zend to help improve performance for PHP on its 2003 and upcoming LongHorn servers (only the servers).

This week also Oracle announced that it will release its own version of Linux which will be a clone of RedHat but stripped from its branding and will offer support cheaper than RedHat. A move that will harm the open source vendor but not intentionally since the target of this move is Microsoft. Oracle always wanted to have its own platform and the tension between the 2 companies is no secret to anyone, but this vendor lock-in is no good for Linux and the open source community.

I think that whoever thought that Open source is a solution for vendor lock-in, please wake up. Corporate America is what rules the world, including software.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Joke of the day: Web 2.0 in the US government.

For those who like me are skeptic about what is called "Web 2.0" perhaps the US government can convince us otherwise. This couple of news articles shows its commitment to bet our Tax dollars on this phenomenon.

Now we should feel secure, since the US intelligence discovered that the tool that was created to make information available easily to everyone is also very good to keep it from them!!! You think I am joking? not a all

The U.S. intelligence community on Tuesday unveiled its own secretive version of Wikipedia, saying the popular online encyclopedia format known for its openness is key to the future of American espionage.

When I first read this article, I thought that US government will try to hack into terrorist WIKI systems and spy on them :-) but I was wrong.

The office of U.S. intelligence czar John Negroponte announced Intellipedia, which allows intelligence analysts and other officials to collaboratively add and edit content on the government's classified Intelink Web much like its more famous namesake on the world wide web.

A "top secret" Intellipedia system, currently available to the 16 agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community, has grown to more than 28,000 pages and 3,600 registered users since its introduction April 17. Less restrictive versions exist for "secret" and "sensitive but unclassified" material.

Of course Mr Negroponte is very aware of all the risks that they are taking with this initiative!

"We're taking a risk," acknowledged Michael Wertheimer, the intelligence community's chief technical officer. "There's a risk it's going to show up in the media, that it'll be leaked."

It is not a surprise that Mr Bush's worst nightmare is this information getting to US reporters. Anyone else is OK!

Intelligence officials are so enthusiastic about Intellipedia that they plan to provide access to Britain, Canada and Australia.

Even China could be granted access to help produce an unclassified intelligence estimate on the worldwide threat posed by infectious diseases.

"We'd hope to get down to the doctor in Shanghai who may have a useful contribution on avian flu," senior intelligence analyst Fred Hassani said.

I am probably twisting the truth, so read the article and let me know what you think.

The second article praises Web2.0 as the saver of democracy in our nation.

Though it may not be obvious, the road marks in this amorphous thing called Web 2.0 are political: grassroots participation, forging new connections, and empowering from the ground up. The ideal democratic process is participatory and the Web 2.0 phenomenon is about democratizing digital technology.

There's never been a better time to tap that technological ethic to re-democratize our democracy.

And from now on every Joe Schmo can play detective and trace every single donation he makes!

For example, tagging information about federal expenditures, unpaved highways or toxic waste sites with GeoRSS would let citizens easily cross-reference the data with other information, including campaign donations. Data feeds that use Ajax, JSON and OpenGIS Web Map Service can incorporate externally hosted geospatial capabilities into mashups that weave data together into a single, multifeatured map.

Full article here.

Now if you were not convinced Web 2.0 is the next internet revolution, you should probably be by now :-)))

A new milestone for the internet

Netcraft in its November 2006 Web Server Survey announced that we reached 100,000,000 web sites!!!

at the same time 11 years ago, there was 18957 web sites, 57% powered by the pioneer NCSA web server (my first server), 19% by the CERN server both issued from universities and 658 servers or 3.47% by a new rising open source server, Apache :-) and no mention of IIS which was not even an idea at the time.

Today there is 101,435,253 web sites, 60.3 % running Apache, 31% running IIS.

The last 10 millions were added in the last 2 months !!!

We'll check in a month :-)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Google acquires JotSpot.

With almost $11 billion cash in the bank, Google (GOOG) continues its acquisitions frenzy. The last one being JotSpot a small company of 26 employees offering an enhanced version of the famous free collaboration software, WIKI. JotSpot claims to have more than 2000 companies as customers including eBay and Intel and more than 30,000 paying customers and 300,000 free ones. Their enhancement to WIKI is in the form of WYSIWYG editor, an integrated spreadsheet, calendar, photo-albums, making it sounding like the Google web based productivity apps, adding the collaboration dimension.

Is this move aimed at getting Google inside corporate IT shops? is it aimed at offering a Google office on the web? Is it another vehicle for ads placement? I have to admit that I got lost here. If Google starts to believe in the web2.0 hype, it is dangerous and it is another step towards irrational exuberance that I still taste its bitterness. The pressure is high on Eric Schmidt to come up with new business channels as the company ads channel start to beat TV ads in some markets and more money is pouring in, but falling in the web2.0 trap can be dramatic not only for Google but for the whole high tech industry.

Ironically the owner of JotSpot is no other than Joe Kraus, co-founder of Excite, who after selling it to AtHome in 1999 at the top of the bubble for $7 billion!!!!, took a sabbatical and went on a 9 months world travel with his fiancée. I am sure that being an old acquaintance of Eric Schmidt did help in selling this startup with only $5M investment from MayField Fund and RedPoint Ventures and $100000 seed money for himself. The @Home_Network did not survive the bubble and ended up filing bankruptcy for defaulting payment of its internet provider ATT !!!

So for those who ask where is the money that everybody lost during the crash did? You can guess that part of it went to Mr. Kraus :-)

Explosion at PayPal/eBay building in San Jose

Last night I had dinner in downtown San Jose, with some of my ex colleagues in a previous company. On my way home, I took Highway 87 and just before the 101 junction I noticed a lot of police cars and fire fighters trucks on First Street. Once home I forgot about the incident, and after dinner and while reading the SF chronicles online, I stumbled upon this breaking news that an explosion occurred just outside of PayPal/eBay building located on First Street in San Jose. I was stunned, because I could not believe that I drove by it. Police reports mentioned that there were 44 employees at the building at the time of the explosion and thanks god none got injured. They also are pretty sure that this was no accident!!!